Our guest speakers were Jeff Crawford, assistant fire management officer, Deschutes National Forest Bend/Fort Rock District and Sheldon Rhoden, fire mitigation and prevention, Bureau of Land Management Prineville district.
Jeff Crawford has been a staff member on several national forests since 2003. He recently took over Alex Enna’s role as the UDRC contact for forest management. He reviewed completed, ongoing, and planned projects in the UDRC Community Wildfire Protection Plan area. Thinning has been completed in the Upper Deschutes River WUI project. Subsoiling and mastication is continuing and pile burning will occur this Winter. Timber sale and harvest is occurring on the Junction project West of the 4220 road. Mowing and prescribed burning are scheduled for 2020 on units North of Sunriver.
Click on the links for more information on projects in the planning phase: Twin project in the Twin Lakes/Crane Prairie area, Klone project East of Highway 97, and the Kew project North of Spring River. Project goals are public safety, recreation, wildlife habitat, and wildfire resilience. The Twin project alternatives will be published for comment in Summer 2020 with implementation in 2021. The Klone project proposal will be available in Winter 2020 with implementation in 2021-22. Proceeds from stewardship projects like the Upper Deschutes WUI are used for small tree thinning and restoration.
7500 acres of prescribed fire was accomplished on the Deschutes National Forest during 2019. Prescribed burns were completed near the Sunriver/Highway 97 interchange and the 40/45 road junction. Prescribed burns are planned for the Pringle Falls area, Haner Park, and East of the Sunriver interchange. Previously burned units will be managed with reburns every 10 – 12 years. The yellow needles visible on trees in the Sunriver burned area will fall, but the tree tops are still green and full recovery from the burn effects is expected after 3 years. Nesting areas are protected during Spring burns.
Projects under consideration are thinning and burning the 40 acre parcel within OWW 2 and mowing the Forest Lane access road to River Forest Acres. If residents have other areas of concern on Deschutes National Forest land, contact the UDRC. The centraloregonfire.org website has information on current and planned prescribed burns.
Sheldon Rhoden and Travis Fenske presented maps covering fuels treatment projects on BLM land during 2010 – 2020. The BLM treatments in the UDRC area are South of Fall River Estates and between State Recreation Road and UDRC communities. 1410 acres of prescribed burns in South Deschutes Counter were accomplished during 2016 – 19. 930 acres of fuels treatments are planned for 2020 – 21. The BLM manages timber within the La Pine State Park. Slash piles from treatments near Whittier Road will be burned this Winter. More fuels treatments South of Fall River Estates are planned.
Historically Forest Service lands were acquired from Shelving-Hixon timber operations and BLM lands were formerly used for homestead grazing. Lodgepole stands are not fire resilient and have a different thinning prescriptions than ponderosa pine stands. The BLM project proposals follow a similar NEPA process as the Forest Service projects.
The next UDRC public meeting will be January 16, 2020, 3:00 – 4:30 PM, at the Sunriver Area Library. Our guest speaker will be Sally Jewkes, Deschutes National Forest Supervisor. Sally took over the position from John Allen who retired last June.
November 15, 2019 UDRC Board Meeting Minutes
Jerry: Published UDRC 2020 Operating Budget draft. Submitted 10 grant applications for $1000 – $25,000 each for defensible space programs and brochures. 28 reimbursement payments have been made to applicants for the Defensible Space Reimbursement program. 18 applicants have not yet submitted invoices. If work is not completed this year they may reapply next year if funds are available. Will submit an application for a Deschutes County Firewise Fuels Reduction grant for DRRH 1-5 community. Need input on CWPP action items and participation from community representatives. December Board meeting: budget review, election of UDRC officers.
Kent: Suggest publishing an article about the Senior Low-income Defensible Space program in the Sunriver Scene and Newberry Eagle.
Jim: 7 projects were completed for the Senior Low-income Defensible Space program. 3 applicants are waiting for contractor scheduling and 2 are waiting for assessments. The average cost per lot was $730. 20 submissions were received for the UDRC Member Survey. The preferred public meeting time is 3:00 – 4:30 PM. Popular meeting topics are river flows, forest management, and fire safety. Will post the survey announcement on Facebook and Nextdoor to collect more submissions. Website hosting cost will be $185 next year. Will continue as acting Secretary in 2020.
UDRC quarterly meeting topics: April – Project Wildfire home protection, August – Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan, November – Wildlife habitat. Schedule joint meetings hosted by Sunriver Chamber between UDRC meetings.
Carl: Interested in serving as treasurer.
Board actions: Approved accepting disabled applicants without minimum age requirement for Senior Low-income Defensible Space program. Approved purchasing four $25,000 CDs with one year duration for holding grant funds.
October UDRC Financial Summary